Reporters – 03/06/2018

Features Reporters

One of Liberty’s proposals for the future of the sport is for a cost cap on teams spending, though the opposition from the big team is well known by both sides, what impact could it have on the wider motorsport industry and why does that need consideration?

Horner calls for cost cap to consider impact on industry

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called on the sport to consider the impact that any potential cost cap could have on the UK motoring industry.

The sport is currently considering a cost cap of £130 million pounds a year for the development of the car, that cap would exclude marketing, wages of both drivers and staff of the team. Currently, budgets of teams vary from £65m to over £250m between the small and biggest teams.

The cap is one of the central elements of Liberty Media’s plans to reduce expenditure, making racing more exciting for fans and closing the gap between the front and back of the grid.

Another meeting in Monaco last week, Horner warned that the cost cap could lead to many jobs being cut across the UK motorsports industry.

He told ESPN, “I think they [Formula One] are gathering feedback at the moment and the more things that they look at the more questions it raises.”

“Of course there has to be an extremely responsible approach from the governing body and the commercial rights holder because, certainly within the UK, you are talking about potentially thousands of jobs.

He says the biggest cost in the sport is the regulations.

Mercedes would also need to cut its car manufacturing serious, with CEO Toto Wolff suggesting that a cap should be introduced gradually to avoid a sudden job cull. Saying “Liberty recognised that a cost cap cannot be an event but needs to be a process.”

“It needs to go over several years and it needs to consider the various structures that have been put in place. They are taking our feedback on board and it is clear that we will all be protecting our structure.”

 

Williams has continued to go backwards, its on-track performance has reached new lows and the team is last in the constructors. Despite this why does deputy team principal Claire Williams insist that the team is not “in a spiral of decline”?

Williams not “in a spiral of decline”

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams, has insisted that her team is not “in a spiral of decline” or “on its way out” of the sport.

The British team has had a very difficult start to the season, only scoring four points and are currently bottom of the constructors’ championship. Williams finished third in the teams’ standings in 2014 and ’15 and fifth in the following two seasons, but a big overhaul of its car design has led to a significant drop in form.

Ms Williams told Autosport that the process of rebuilding from this difficult start would “define” the team. She added, “When you are winning it’s fantastic and when you are not then you have to re-organise and regroup.”

“It’s always about how you cope with those challenges. At the moment there is a huge spirit within Williams to get this fixed.” She says anyone thinking that the team is on its way out of the downturn is wrong.

Williams has recruited former Ferrari man Dirk de Beer as head of aerodynamics, former Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe as chief technical officer and former McLaren head of aero Doug McKiernan as chief engineer.

But she says that the teams’ technical department is nowhere near where they want to be, adding “sometimes you need to almost have that kind of dose of reality to set yourself a different course and move forward.”

Williams admitted that with the Martini deal not being renewed at the end of this season was “not particularly helpful” to have poor results as it seeks a replacement.

But she pointed out that its Martini deal started in similar circumstances, with its peak in 2014, the first year of the arrangement, following a dismal 2013 season in which Williams finished ninth with five points.

 

Keke Rosberg has been silence fro the press for the last decade while his son Nico raced in Formula One. But following his title win and retirement why has Keke broken his self-imposed exile?

Keke Rosberg explains why he hid from media

Keke Rosberg has said he avoided the media during his son’s Nico’s Formula One career. The former world champion retreated from the press in 2010 and gave his first major interview following his son’s title win in 2016.

At the Monaco Grand Prix, Keke and Nico took part in a joint demo, which was posted on YouTube. In an interview, he said “I am! I’ve withdrawn completely out of the public eye since 2010, really. I know it was the right decision.

“It mainly came because active drivers were very difficult to get. So, [journalists say] ‘dad’s there, he’s got nothing to do, let’s ask him’.”

“I found myself being in the public eye much more than I should have been on my own merit, only to comment about him. I said ‘No, no, I can’t continue with this’.”

Keke says he followed his son from home, but it was not the first time he backed away from Nico’s career.

He said the focus when Nico was racing karts was “spending weekends with your boy and letting him go as far as your wings carry you” but guided his early career “as a father”.

 

Max Verstappen’s difficult start to this season, incidents in every race and that continued last weekend in Monaco. So is there a reason for his difficult start?

No explanation

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crashed out in FP3 which left him unable to take part in qualifying. It’s the sixth race weekend this season where he has crashed in at least one session.

The crash caused damage to the rear of the car and the gearbox, which ruled the Dutchman out of qualifying and means he will start last. Asked to explain why he had been involved in so many incidents this year, he replied: “At the moment I can’t.”

Today’s accident was caused by him clipping the barrier on entry to the second part of the Swimming Pool, which sent him slamming into the wall. Just before the incident he had to negotiate his way around the slow-moving Renault of Carlos Sainz, but said that was no excuse for the mistake.

“I clipped the inside barrier … I’d got a little bit caught off guard with the slow car, but that’s not an excuse — I hit the wall.

He added: “I wouldn’t call Barcelona an incident. I think this, together with China, were my mistakes. It’s of course not what you’d like to happen, but unfortunately it happens.”

 

Drivers are normally briefed by the FIA on a Friday, however, could that be about to change as the sports governing body fears it has become a defacto union meeting?

FIA considering dropping drivers briefing

The sports governing body the FIA is considering dropping the Friday drivers briefing and replacing it with a joint briefing with team managers on Thursday.

Currently, the team managers meet on a Thursday ahead of the weekend, to discuss track changes and any issues from the previous race.

The drivers join the team managers for a separate Friday session after the first day of practice, ostensibly so that they can give the FIA feedback on the circuit, and so on.

However following the departure of the managers, sometimes the drivers only briefing becomes a trade union meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) after the team managers leave.

Speaking about the possibility of bringing an end to the drivers’ briefing, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: “It’s a suggestion only at the moment. It certainly won’t happen this year, unless everyone wants it to happen.

“The main reason that I have suggested this is simply that we discuss things in the team managers’ meeting on the basis that they will pass them onto their drivers, and when we get to the drivers’ meeting, it’s quite evident that sometimes this hasn’t happened, and we have to go through it all again.”

However he says one of the reason for the Friday briefing was for drivers feed back, bit says that “really isn’t of any value, because whenever they see anything, they tell us anyway.”

 

That’s all from this edition of Reporters, goodbye

 

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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